In her first public statement on the brutal attack on her husband – in which she was the intended target – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told her congressional colleagues that she and her family were ‘heartbroken and traumatized’ by the events of Friday.
“Our children, our grandchildren and I are heartbroken and traumatized by the potentially deadly attack on our Pop,” Pelosi said in a statement to members of the U.S. House of Representatives. “We are grateful for the quick response from law enforcement and emergency services, and for the life-saving medical treatment he is receiving.”
Early Friday, an intruder broke into the Pelosis’s hillside home in San Francisco’s exclusive Pacific Heights neighborhood.
Authorities said David DePape, 42, attacked Paul Pelosi, 82, with a hammer after he yelled, “Where’s Nancy?” several times. Police arrived at the scene after being alerted to a call from Paul Pelosi, who managed to conceal the call from his attacker.
Nancy Pelosi was in Washington at the time but has since returned to California to be with her husband, according to dispatches.
The Speaker of the House briefly referred to the attacker in her statement.
“Yesterday morning a violent man broke into our family home, demanded to confront me and brutally attacked my husband, Paul,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi also thanked those who expressed concern and sympathy.
“Know that the outpouring of prayers and warm wishes from so many in Congress is a comfort to our family and helps Paul move forward in his recovery,” she said. “His condition continues to improve.”
In his statement, Pelosi quoted the Bible:
“We are also comforted by the words of the book of Isaiah: ‘Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will support you from my righteous right.’”
According to official accounts, Paul Pelosi told the intruder he needed to use the bathroom, then surreptitiously called 911 on his cell phone and left the line open. Dispatcher Heather Grimes could hear Pelosi talking to her attacker and alerted officers to the scene.
At a press conference on Friday, San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott praised Grimes’ quick-wittedness, given that Pelosi was unable to describe the seriousness of the situation as the intruder was at handy.
“She had to interpret what she was being told,” Scott said at the press conference. “And based on her experience and her intuition, she basically understood that there was something more to this incident than what she was being told.”
Police arrived at the Pelosi residence about two minutes after being alerted by the dispatcher.
When officers knocked on the front door, Scott said, someone inside opened it. Officers saw Paul Pelosi struggling with his attacker, “each with one hand on a single hammer”, he said.
After officers ordered the two men to drop the hammer, the attacker “immediately” pulled the tool from Pelosi and “savagely attacked him with the hammer,” Scott said.
Police grappled with the attacker, seized the hammer and took him into custody before calling for reinforcements and beginning first aid.
A source who was briefed on the attack said the attacker confronted Paul Pelosi and shouted, “Where’s Nancy?” Where is Nancy? before the assault occurs.
DePape was arrested Friday afternoon on suspicion of attempted murder, first-degree burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, threatening a family member of a public official, elder abuse, assault and battery. serious, deterrence of a witness and injury of a wireless device.
The attack is seen as proof that the rising tide of harsh political rhetoric is escalating into violence.
A Times review of DePape’s online accounts indicates he had drifted into the world of far-right conspiracies, anti-Semitism and hate.
In a personal blog maintained by DePape, posts include such topics as “History Manipulation”, “Holohoax”, and “It’s OK to be white”. He mentioned 4chan, a favorite far-right message board. He posted videos about conspiracies involving COVID-19 vaccines and baseless claims that the war in Ukraine is a ploy to get Jews to buy land.
Among DePape’s screeds were articles about QAnon, an unfounded theory that former President Trump is at war with a cabal of Satan-worshipping elites who run a pedophilia ring and control the world.
Paul Pelosi is recovering from surgery at Zuckerberg General Hospital in San Francisco “to repair a fractured skull and serious injuries to his right arm and hands,” said Drew Hammill, spokesperson for Nancy Pelosi’s office. . He is expected to make a full recovery.
Los Angeles Times